Florida Governor and Republican presidential candidate Ron DeSantis on Friday ramped up his attack against GOP primary contender and former president Donald Trump, targeting him on crime and immigration.
What Happened: DeSantis vowed to push for repealing the First Step Act, a bipartisan criminal justice reform legislation enacted during Trump’s tenure, reported The New York Times.
The 2018-law expanded early-release programs and modified sentencing laws, including mandatory minimum sentences for nonviolent drug offenders. “He enacted a bill, basically a jailbreak bill,” DeSantis said.
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“It has allowed dangerous people out of prison who have now reoffended and really, really hurt a number of people.”
DeSantis also blamed Trump’s policies for undermining law and order in the Sunshine State when the interviewer asked about the ex-president’s recent criticism that crime had risen on his watch in Florida. The Florida governor sought to portray himself as steadfast on the issue of illegal immigration, highlighting that he had faced criticism from Trump for his opposition to amnesty legislation during his time in Congress.
He also repeated his claims about Dr. Anthony Fauci, who was the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) from 1984 to 2022 and served under President Trump as one of the lead members of the White House Coronavirus Task Force.
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“I think the fact that Donald Trump gave Anthony Fauci a presidential commendation on Trump’s last day in office, that was a gut punch to millions of people around this country who were harmed by Fauci’s lockdowns,” DeSantis said.
Why It Matters: Following a turbulent Twitter launch that marked DeSantis’s entry into the presidential race, the Florida leader intensified the criticism of his former ally, whom he had refrained from directly targeting for several months. On Friday, he accused Trump of destroying “millions of lives” during COVID.
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